Sunday, August 07, 2005

Saw Sin City last night at the Astor with Guy and Leah and Jedda. And LOVED it. Indeed, loved every single thing about it. I've heard there have been mixed responses to it but I don't get that. My response is so wholly not mixed. Because, for me, everything worked. Even things that were laughable worked. In fact, it was good that they were laughable. Even from the beginning, with the pedantic little credits like "Shot and Cut by Robert Rogriguez... Directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller... with Special Guest Director Quentin Tarantino." These were things that were good to laugh at, in a mate's way. Anyway, I was locked in to love this film forever from the moment Michael Madsen first spoke. See, Bruce Willis drove up in his car, and Madsen went, "Goddamnit, Hartigan!" for no reason at all. It was brilliant. There is, of course, more to the movie than that, but I can't really go into how every single thing was fucking brilliant, can I? That would take forever. But seriously, the whole damn thing is just perfection. God, it was fantastic. And the cast. Benicio Del Toro was amazing, but so was everyone else. Jesus. I loved it. And I was talking in this fashion to the others after the film, and yes, some of their responses were more muted than mine. Maybe Guy will be able to let you know what he thought of it, because all I remember him doing was sighing dreamily and saying, "Clive Owen." And also something about how creepy Elijah Wood is. Always. And I don't remember Jedda saying much at all. But Leah was as enthusiastic as me. Until a look of concern crossed her face, and she said, "You don't think we're being a bit Vice crowd about it, do you?" And I just stared at her, horrified. It was like the wind had been knocked out of me. Here are some thoughts on that terrible proposition:

"JESUS! Why would you even SAY something like that? EVER! We are about to have dinner here. Good god, WHAT ON EARTH DO YOU MEAN?"

Well, the women.

"What about the women? They looked fantastic!"

Well, yes. But what about the political implications of enjoying things because they are stylish and cool and allowing that thinking to foil other possibly legitimate concerns about representation? And luxuriating in 'political incorrectness' for the sake of it? That's a bit Vice crowd, isn't it?

"NO! Don't say such things. Because that's NOT what we were doing. That's not what the film was doing. Vice is a completely different deal. I know it. Well, from what I've gathered in credible hearsay anyway, Vice is about being ASSHOLES. And it's about playing a sick joke on non-assholes, fucking with their perfectly acceptable predilections for ambiguity and irony, and for necessarily unfixed, exploratory and uncertain thinking on questions of humour and taste and morality. Sin City is a completely different kind of thing, because Robert Rodriguez is not thinking like an asshole, and he's not delighting in the potential for 'duping' non-assholes into thinking like assholes. We are totally not assholes for enjoying his shit. And I do love his shit. It's totally credible and not sinister or jerkesque. And I have no doubt that he has great respect for the hot women he works with, and for his audience. He's not going to screw us. I mean, he gives Carla Gugino regular work. That shows great presence of mind to me, because I love her. Ever since The Buccaneers, I've loved her. And if Carla Gugino has decided to show her hot bod, I believe that comes from a position of integrity, ease, trust and other good things. Not from seeking to be 'politically incorrect' or post-feminist in any sort of glib way that isn't post-feminist at all. Seriously. I'm damn sure that in this instance, representing women in a post-everything sexualised/stylised fashion does not in any way reinstate, or produce the same effect as, pre-everything stereotypes, nor does it seek to pander to those who enjoy stuff on some reactionary base level. No. This thing is frickin art. I swear. It's doing stuff that could look politically dodgy but, in fact, isn't. Somehow. But without resorting to being explicit about how it's not dodgy. Which makes it even more arty, right? Because it's a bit risky and courts misinterpretation [by assholes]. And that's like, the definition of art, right? To sort the assholes out from the non, by inviting and reflecting and implicating the audience's own thinking in the establishment of 'meaning'...? Er, I'm getting lost here. But my basic point is this: WE LIKED IT. And Leah, WE ARE NOT ASSHOLES. I am certain of that. WE are not Vice crowd. So if we liked it, IT is not Vice crowd either. And even if the Vice crowd liked it, they are just being assholes, and like most assholes, they simply do not 'get' stuff. Yes, that is my argument. Because, despite this massive freak-out right here, I was never once perturbed about this film. And I just really think that, if perturbation were warranted, we would know." Etc etc.

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